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Man Arrested in Mexico in 1996 Beating

November 17, 2001|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A suspected gang member who police said beat a U.S. Marine into a coma after crashing a San Fernando Valley house party five years ago has been tracked down and arrested in Mexico, police said on Friday.

Luis Quezada, a 29-year-old Mexican national and former resident of Van Nuys, was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of the attempted murder of Marine Joffrey Ramos, police said.

Quezada is believed to be the leader of a North Hollywood area gang that crashed a birthday party on Sept. 22, 1996, in Canoga Park, said Los Angeles Police Det. Mike Oppelt.

Two women had been fighting at the celebration in the 8500 block of Remmet Avenue, and one of Quezada's friends intervened and began beating one of the women, Oppelt said.

Ramos and fellow Marines at the party came to the woman's aid, but were jumped by Quezada's friends, who repeatedly kicked and beat them, Oppelt said.

Ramos, who was 20 at the time, was beaten so severely he went into a coma and was kept alive by a respirator for more than a week. He has since recovered from his injuries, police said.

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